Discover Massey’s Story
Twenty years before he would open and run one of Southern Ontario’s most beloved Indian restaurant, Patson Massey’s humble journey as a chef began in his teens with daily twelve-hour shifts of peeling mountains of onions and assisting his senior Chef’s in Taj Palace. After completing his chef’s training at the prestigious five-star hotel Taj Palace, located in New Delhi, Patson spent eight years as a Chef in the same hotel, before migrating to Canada. Later he worked as a Specialty Chef in Toronto for almost 10 years.
“While I nurtured dreams of opening my own restaurant for as long as I can remember, it was Anisha, my wife, who really encouraged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone to take the next step,” remembers Patson. Anisha, who migrated to Toronto with Patson, had been working at a Bank in Toronto. They both chose to move to London Ontario for it is an incredibly welcoming community, an amazing school environment for their girls and its wide-open spaces. After living in London for more than a decade now this is where they call home.
Patson and Anisha opened Massey’s in October of 2005. “We started with a very small budget,” informs Anisha, who has been Massey’s manager from its inception. Since then, according to their own estimates, the husband and wife duo have spent more time at their restaurant than in their own home, lovingly nurturing it and raising it as they would one of their own children.
Both of them have striven to make the Massey’s experience a holistic blend of epicurean delight and the warm glow of Indian hospitality. “My senses are awakened, “Smells so good” or “I am so excited,” are few of the most oft-repeated phrases that Massey’s customers utter. Over the years, Anisha has gotten to know Massey’s regulars by their name and even remembers their food and drink preferences. ” I am old fashion, therefore human experience and emotional connection are very important to me, I love connecting with people,” says Anisha.
Massey’s food is Patson’s kingdom. He cajoles, coaxes and creates flavours, making the indispensable curries and masala’s of Indian cuisine from scratch every day. “I am very influenced by my mother’s cooking,” says Patson. For both Patson and Anisha, the regular Patrons at Massey’s are a part of an ever-growing family. “When we decided to open Massey’s, it was all about following our dream and passion for food; providing people with new culinary experiences,” says Patson.
Growing up in a household of chefs, Patson gravitated to a lifetime of professional cooking himself. “I have been cooking for over thirty years now.
Eventually, I would love to pass on my family’s culinary legacy along with the little nuggets of kitchen wisdom which I have picked up over the years of experience, with an art of blending and roasting our own spices,” says Patson and he hopes to inspire a new generation of chefs to explore both new and old favours and excite palates. When Patson is not whipping up a curry in his restaurant’s kitchen, he can be found at his home in London Ontario, lying on his favourite couch watching TV or spending time with his wife and 2 daughters.
The journey from a small mother’s kitchen to many successful years of running Massey’s Fine Indian Cuisine is nothing but Prodigious. Finally, all of this would not have been possible without God’s grace, says Patson.
Interviewed & written by Aniruddho.C. Hoque.